Underwater robots to sample health of Lake Ontario this week

Lake Ontario salelite photo

Researchers are set to launch a pair of robot submarines to check the health of Lake Ontario.

The state and federal program will send the remote-controlled "autonomous underwater vehicles" just off shore this week at Sodus Point, Oswego, Rochester and Oak Orchard.

They're checking algae levels, changes in the lower food chain, fish productivity and the effects of water temperature on nutrients.

It's work that used to be done by crews in boats dipping instruments into the water.

The project is part of a long-standing agreement between the U.S. and Canada to monitor each of the Great Lakes on a five-year cycle.

The information is used for conservation, fishery management and by marinas and fishing associations.